Researching Consumer and Company Financial Information on Government Websites
Written by Lev Breydo, Biddle Research Fellow
Looking for company filings? Need to learn about a new financial regulation? Want/need to learn about financial topics or securities laws?
Here are just a few government agency websites which can serve as a great resource!
The SEC is the primary agency responsible for regulation and oversight over US capital markets. Its website provides lots of information related to securities laws, regulations, and enforcement actions. For example, it handles most of the cases related to the financial crisis and insider trading.
All domestic publically traded companies have to file various reports with the SEC, including: quarterly (10-Q), annual (10-K), material event (8-K), and shareholder proxy statements (DEF-14A). After May 6, 1996 "all public domestic companies were required to make their filings on EDGAR [Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval], except for filings made in paper because of a hardship exemption." This means the SEC's EDGAR database is a great tool for finding information about these companies.
You can also learn more about finance and securities by checking out the SEC's online publications for investors page!
The CFTC is responsible for the bulk of derivatives regulations. A lot of its oversight overlaps with the SEC. If you are researching futures, options, clearinghouses, etc. this a good place to look. The CFTC also provides excellent market reports.
The CFPB was created in 2010, with the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. It focuses on the capital markets and financial products as they pertain to consumers. If you are researching student loans, mortgages, or retirement plans–this is a good place to start. Check out their About Us page for more information, including a video.